A recent report from CCS Insight provides an updated outlook on the future of wearable technologies, indicating that 411 million smart wearable devices, worth a staggering $34 billion, will be sold in 2020. Growing from a projected $14 billion this year, the mix of devices will shift from primarily smartwatches and fitness trackers to a diverse array of wearable devices in 2020, including 97 million eyewear devices and 25 million wearable cameras.
Many of these “other” wearable devices will include what is now considered commodity functionality – counting steps. It is unlikely that employee wellness programs and other health tracking aficionados will replace step count as a proxy for activity and health anytime soon. To these groups of people, steps are staples for wellness challenges, rewards tracking, and more. The good news is that since you do not need a wrist-worn device to count steps, the breadth of wearable devices will only further the number of people with the supporting technology for successful wellness programs. For example, an individual may purchase smart glasses for many reasons, none of which may include health and fitness features like step tracking. Since these devices can also track steps, this individual has the technology to participate in their employee wellness program without having their employer purchase a device for them (even if that wasn’t the original purpose for purchasing the device).
This will be the future of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) for wellness. It will go beyond BYOD when your device is a fitness tracker or smartwatch. It will include all types of wearables. 411 million wearable devices will be sold in 2020, most of which will be able to track steps. With this amount of penetration with consumers, employers will be forced to embrace a BYOD strategy, similar to the way most employers embrace it today for smartphones.